Google It

When in doubt...Google it! I swear, Google knows everything.

My all time favorite chocolate chip cookie is from the one and only Paradise Bakery. It is perfect in every single way - warm, big, gooey but crisp enough around the edges...you know what I'm talking about.

Since there is no Paradise Bakery in San Diego I tried to Google their recipe for the cookies. Surprise, surprise - Google did not know (sad face).

However, Google did find a recipe that the New York Times dubbed the best chocolate chip cookie. I decided I could settle for that and started putting it all together. The person who created this recipe is a genius, they were amazing and very similar to the ones you can find at Paradise. They take a while to make because they have to sit in the fridge for 36-72 hours, but I promise they are worth the wait. These will definitely impress your friends and family, that is if you don't eat them all first. :)

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from Jacques Torres

Time: 45 minutes (for 1 6-cookie batch), plus at least 24 hours’ chilling
2 cups minus 2 tablespoons
(8 1/2 ounces) cake flour
1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate disks or fèves, at least 60 percent cacao content (see note)
Sea salt.
1. Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.
2. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them without breaking them. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.
3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.
4. Scoop 6 3 1/2-ounce mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls) onto baking sheet, making sure to turn horizontally any chocolate pieces that are poking up; it will make for a more attractive cookie. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more. Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day. Eat warm, with a big napkin.
Yield: 1 1/2 dozen 5-inch cookies.

Give them a try and let me know how it goes! Happy Sunday!


The Tale of the Sweet Potatoes

Not so long ago, we got a Costco membership. Exciting, I know. Our first trip to get some groceries was just wonderful, especially since we took full advantage of the "free sample dinner" they offer to their shoppers. As we were ready to leave with our huge bag of chicken we decided we probably needed a side dish of some sort to eat with our chickens. That's when we met the sweet potato.

We decided these orange lugs were a good idea. I am assuming you are familiar with Costco portion sizes so you can imagine how many sweet pots we walked out with - among other things.

Now we have a plethora of groceries and are feeling pretty proud of our shopping abilities. But it has been a month or so now and there is a problem...

We still have a TON of sweet potatoes!! AH..what to do? We under estimated our potato eating abilities I guess. I am hoping that some of you have good sweet potato recipes because these guys are lonely sitting in the bottom drawer in the fridge. They want some action!

One of my favorite uses for these guys are sweet potato fries, of course! They are super easy and really delicious with some spicy-ranch (tapatio and ranch mmm).

They are a healthier alternative than regular fries, especially because they are baked instead of fried. A good side with this grilled chicken and mozzarella sandwich.

As much as I love these fries, I would love some suggested recipes from you all even more!! Then maybe we can make our way through the rest of our sweet potato friends :)

Have a great week everyone!!


Bloggers..I Need Your Help!

Hi friends, 

Here is the dilemma of my life and one of the things that make me crazy. 

Do I jump into culinary school and vamp up these recipes you come here to read about every now and then? Or just continue trying to learn all on my own?

Decisions, decisions.

What is your vote? Despite all the boogery details like moolah, time and sanity.

Your thoughts would be much appreciated!!!! Thanks all.

In the mean time, today is my Friday after working TEN days in a row. I AM SO HAPPY not to be at work right now. Can you hear me sigh in relief?

I got to go to breakfast with Mike before he left for work this morning, then got to spend some time with one of my best friends at her new home in Ocean Beach and now I'm off for a nice, long run at the beach. 

 San Diego is so beautiful, warm and sunny in the middle of January. Could I ask for a better day today?

I hope yours is just as warm and fuzzy as I am feeling!  

Remember...I need advice friends!!


Nanna Bread Round 2

The last time I made banana bread I was not completely happy with it. It was a bit dry and everyone knows that breakfast breads must be moist, warm and covered in butter. 

So I had to try again and this time it turned out muuuuch better. 

Why just choose one? Why not four?

Treats like these make for a much better morning. 
Any suggestions on which breakfast bread I should take on next??


Costa Brava

Can you pin point the greatest experience of your life thus far? I can. 

My summer abroad in Spain was not only the most amazing, fun, exciting, unbelievable experience, it also really changed my perspective on life. I had been going through the hardest year of my life, some really heartbreaking stuff during my junior year in college and I can't tell you how grateful I am for that incredible combination of Me, Katie, Tera, Estrella, cafe con leche, Bea, chocolate croissants, Dow Jones, new friends and the streets of Barcelona that brought me back to life. I really couldn't tell you who I would be today without this experience.

Instead of going into my rant about how much I want to move there forever and live that lifestyle, travel the world and never look back. I think I will just show you some pictures from that amazing summer abroad through Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and France. AKA: the best days of my life.

Ever since I got back (almost three years ago!) I have been dying to go to this Spanish restaurant in Pacific Beach called Costa Brava

Finally, this week Mike and I made our way over there. I adore this place. Not only is the food unbelievable and very authentic, the atmosphere is wonderful and really takes me back.

 Mike studied abroad in Spain as well and it really hit home for both of us. We have found "our spot". I highly, highly recommend it. Here is what we ordered the last time we were there:

This is as close to Espana as we can get for now. I miss Europe dearly. I miss my KP and Tdawg even more. Until we can get back across the world, I am thinking we will be regulars here.

What trips have changed your life? What has been your favorite place you have seen so far??